Hundreds of community members walk in Strides Against Breast Cancer

American Cancer Society hosts 5K walk to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Hundreds of community members laced up their sneakers Saturday afternoon to take strides against breast cancer with the American Cancer Society. The Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation reported in just this year, there are more than 280,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women, and more than 2,600 cases in men. Community members walked today to celebrate survivors and support those still fighting.

Just a few days ago, Dianne Fitzgerald finished her last breast cancer treatment.

“The verdict was out on if I was going to walk or not, but I made the walk, and it was great,” said Fitzgerald.

She said she never misses annual check-ups, but because of the pandemic, her mammogram was delayed nearly half a year. She saw it as a blessing in disguise.

“I don’t even know if it would have shown up five months earlier, so perhaps it was just meant to be,” said Fitzgerald.

Two dozen of her family members walked as “Team Mama Fitz” to celebrate her victory in the Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The team raised more than $4,000. The 5K walk hosted by the American Cancer Society raised awareness and funds for cancer research and programs.

“What we’ve found from the pandemic is, we’re really focusing on returning to screenings,” said ACS Community Development Manager Stacey Dutton. “Mammograms, and all screenings, save lives. So, you know if you got off schedule, didn’t get that mammogram scheduled, get it scheduled today.”

She said research is critical in progressing medical technology, something Fitzgerald says saved her life.

“I’m very, very blessed to have the prognosis that I’ve had,” said Fitzgerald. “The technology and the newer mammograms, and that type of thing to detect my type of cancer early and treat it. Remove it and treat it.”

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